‘Are our kids really safe?’: Student, parents address brawl at Johnson High School

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 11:21 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Kids fighting, teachers and an officer trying to break it up...there was chaos at Johnson High School on Wednesday.

It ended with at least one student arrested and another still processing what happened after a teacher put his hands on her.

“Someone came behind me and grabbed my hair...and the hoodie I had on and threw me down and I’m thinking it was like a student. When I looked it was a teacher,” said a student at Johnson High School.

A video showed the teacher coming through the door grabbing the student. Next, he was throwing her down.

Her father wants accountability from the district and teacher responsible.

“This is someone twice her age jumping on the girl,” said Emanuel Sanders, the father of the student in the video.

The teacher is shown on top of the student trying to restrain her. She gets up and he throws her back down.

The student said: “I defended myself. I got up and I swung on him and my cousin...that’s a grown man so he swung on him.”

Savannah Pendergraph’s daughter has been in the juvenile detention center since the fight yesterday and according to her, given felony charges for assaulting an officer.

“Just to know you’re so close, but too far away to do anything,” said Pendergraph.

She said she talked to the officer and according to Pendergraph, the officer didn’t know who assaulted her, but they only took her daughter away.

“Handcuffs...take her to jail...for what?”

Both parents want the school to handle these situations better before it even gets to this point.

“They failed my baby.,” the mom said. “She wasn’t protected.”

“We lay in the bed and wonder, ‘is our kids really safe when they leave to go to school?’” said Sanders.

The parents have said they do plan to take their own legal action.

WTOC asked the district some follow up questions on what led up to this, but they would not answer them due to their investigation and federal student privacy laws.

They sent us this statement: